09 January 2014

A North Carolina Christmas

It seems like every holiday, Mr. P and I are heading to a new part of the country. We spent Independence Day in Buffalo, New York. We celebrated Thanksgiving in Phoenix, Arizona. And Christmas? Well, this year we spent part of our Christmas holiday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Because Mr. P has family everywhere. Where do you live? He probably has family there. Yes, even there.

But we had an even better reason to gather the family in Greensboro: a wedding! But I’ll get there in a minute.

As this was our first chance to see Mr. P’s family over the Christmas holiday, we of course first exchanged gifts in the hotel suite. But I promised no blurry photos of opening presents! So, instead, I’ll tell you about our family adventure at the Greensboro Science Center. I knew nothing about before agreeing to go, but turns out, it’s an aquarium, a museum, and a zoo, all in one! That’s three kinds of science to get excited about!

We started at the aquarium.

As aquariums go, it wasn’t the biggest ever. But between all the fish, the whales, and the penguins (!), there was plenty for Mr. P & fam to see.

And touch! Mr. P’s sister is way more willing to pet the stingrays than me.

But of course, I was most excited about the viewing windows to the laboratory beyond. Filtration systems! pH meters! Aquaculture columns! It’s like they knew I was coming!

I kept grabbing Mr. P’s arm and saying stuff like, “Look! Look, they use Kimwipes! Just like me!”

I was seriously at least as excited about that than the fish themselves. Hello, I’m Sarah and I’m a fish scientist nerd.

There was something for the math nerd, too: a Focault pendulum.

Most of the museum time was spent in the kid-friendly exhibits for Mr. P’s nephew. But I still managed to seek out my favorite things.

Then we headed out to the zoo. Thank goodness for the South and its fifty-degree temperatures in late December! The crisp air meant the animals were extra active. This tiger was especially keen on checking us out... and, uh, letting us know we were on his turf.

I also developed a fondness for maned wolves. They have fluffy red hair and legs that are too long for their bodies. Clearly, they are my spirit animal.

By the time we’d seen just about everything at the Science Center, it was time for lunch and getting dressed for the wedding! Then, time for Mr. P’s cousin to wed her Canadian beau!

I really like this cousin. One, she’s a science professor. And two, she has an amazing excited smile!

But then again, so does her new husband.

For their wedding reception, they held a party at a local Mexican restaurant. So even though it was all too dark to photograph, I promise there were many margaritas and sangrias, a live salsa band, a cake bar... and a PIÑATA. YES.

Actually, I think there were multiple piñatas. A plethora, if you will.

A festive wedding reception with lots of family time was a great way to cap off our Christmas celebration! And our busy, indulgent week made the long, foggy drive home – through Appalachia and our former fair city of Nashville – feel all the more peaceful and sanguine.

So that was our Christmas holiday! It was quite a lot of celebrating in one week, quite a lot of traveling, and a lot more doing than relaxing. But it wouldn’t be a classic Team P Christmas in the Car any other way!


Janice said...

What a GREAT trip it must have been. I love all the pictures and kept looking for the "like" button after your comments and/or the pictures! :) You're right, Mr. P's family IS all around the country, makes travel great as few hotel stays are needed ha ha ha Looking forward to meeting up with you two again at some place in the US!